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Dex Media West, Inc. v. City of Seattle, Case 2:10-cv-01857 (W.D. Wash.) (Nov. 15, 2010)

Dex Media West, Inc. v. City of Seattle, Case 2:10-cv-01857 (W.D. Wash.) (Nov. 15, 2010)

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Complaint challenging City of Seattle's Yellow Pages opt-out ordinance (123427) on First Amendment grounds, filed by Dex Media, Supermedia LLC, and other Yellow Pages cos.
Complaint challenging City of Seattle's Yellow Pages opt-out ordinance (123427) on First Amendment grounds, filed by Dex Media, Supermedia LLC, and other Yellow Pages cos.

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Published by: Venkat Balasubramani on Nov 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/16/2010

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COMPLAINT1
42414-0030/LEGAL19513274.6
Perkins Coie LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4800Seattle, WA 98101-3099Phone: 206.359.8000Fax: 206.359.9000
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTWESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTONAT SEATTLEDEX MEDIA WEST, INC.;SUPERMEDIA LLC; and YELLOWPAGES INTEGRATED MEDIAASSOCIATION d/b/a YELLOW PAGESASSOCIATION,Plaintiffs,v.CITY OF SEATTLE and RAYHOFFMAN, in his official capacity asDirector of Seattle Public Utilities,Defendants. No. ______ COMPLAINTThe First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits government from licensingor exercising advance approval of the press, from directing publishers what to publish and to whomto communicate, from assessing taxes or fees for the privilege of publishing, from enforcing thedesire of citizens to avoid communications, from prying into citizens' preferences regardingcommunications they seek to avoid, and from deciding the value of a publication's content.Plaintiffs bring this action because City of Seattle Ordinance 123427 violates these and other constitutional guarantees.
Case 2:10-cv-01857 Document 1 Filed 11/15/10 Page 1 of 8
 
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COMPLAINT2
42414-0030/LEGAL19513274.6
Perkins Coie LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4800Seattle, WA 98101-3099Phone: 206.359.8000Fax: 206.359.9000
PARTIES
1.Plaintiff Dex Media West, Inc. is a Delaware corporation having its principal placeof business in North Carolina.2.Plaintiff SuperMedia LLCis a Delaware limited liability company having its principal place of business in Texas.3.Plaintiffs Dex and SuperMedia are publishers in interstate commerce of informationin book form and on the internet, as described in more detail below.4.Plaintiff Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association d/b/a Yellow Pages Association("YPA") is a Delaware corporation having its principal place of business in New Jersey. YPA is atrade association of print and digital publishers, including the other plaintiffs, and businesses thatsell to and support the print and digital local search industry. YPA brings this action on behalf of its publisher members, and thus is considered a "publisher" below.5.Defendant City of Seattle is a municipal corporation located in the Western Districtof Washington.6.Defendant Ray Hoffman is Director of Seattle Public Utilities and is responsible foenforcing Ordinance 123427.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
7.This action arises under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to and the CommerceClause of the United States Constitution; 42 U.S.C. §1983; and Article 1, Sections 5 and 12, andArticle 11, Section 11, of the Washington Constitution.8.The Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §§1331, 1343(3), 1367,2201, and 2202.9.Venue is proper in the Western District of Washington and in this division.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND
10.Among plaintiffs' publications are "yellow pages" directories that communicateinformation about local businesses, government agencies, nonprofit groups, and community
Case 2:10-cv-01857 Document 1 Filed 11/15/10 Page 2 of 8
 
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COMPLAINT3
42414-0030/LEGAL19513274.6
Perkins Coie LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4800Seattle, WA 98101-3099Phone: 206.359.8000Fax: 206.359.9000
activities. Typical users of yellow pages include those wishing to contact a particular governmentagency or business, those ready to make a purchase but uncertain as to which supplier to choose or the address or phone number of a particular seller, and those seeking community informationregarding such topics asarea attractions, emergency contacts, drivers' licenses, utility services,recycling, voter registration, area maps, and public schools. Many affinity groups also publish anddistribute yellow pages directories addressing the informational interests of their target audiences.11.The State of Washington recognizes the value of telephone directories by requiringlocal telephone companies to arrange publication ofdirectories in each local exchange "listing thename, address ... and primary telephone number for each customer," residential or business, "whocan be called in that local exchange," and to distribute directories to each customer. WAC 480-120-251(1)-(3). The State also requires local telephone company directories to contain consumer information, including the rights and responsibilities of telephone customers, credit and depositinformation, delinquency and disconnection procedures, the Washington Telephone AssistanceProgram, the federal Enhanced Tribal Lifeline Program, and the right of consumers to have disputesheard by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. WAC 480-120-251(6). Statelaw recognizes that local telephone companies frequently arrange to have that responsibilityfulfilled on their behalf by companies such as Dex and SuperMedia. WAC 480-120-251(1), (4),(5), (6). Pursuant to authority under state law, the Washington Utilities and TransportationCommission requires the local telephone company serving Seattle to provide not only listings byname but also classified listings of business subscribers. Dex's white and yellow pages provide allthis required information for residential and business subscribers in the Seattle area. SuperMediaalso publishes this information for the Seattle area and publishes, on behalf of another localtelephone company, the required information for other parts of King County.12.Yellow pages directories are distributed at no cost to consumers. Like "free"television, radio, and some newspapers, yellow pages publications are supported by advertising butdo more than propose commercial transactions.
Case 2:10-cv-01857 Document 1 Filed 11/15/10 Page 3 of 8

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